Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Oh, I can feel the icey stares already...

I'm going to alienate many people right now by doing something that just needs to be done. Attack hybrid vehicles. Those gas electric darlings of the media and ecolovers everywhere. Guess what, folks? They're more expensive to operate, and they use more resources than a standard car does. So in reality they are actually doing more harm than good. It feels so good to say that. Let me expound upon my little thesis here.

First, the mileage isn't quite what the "experts" claimed at first. Anyone recall when Toyota had to revamp the mileage for the Pious I mean Prious by lowering it 20%? I won't confuse anyone with the facts... Yet I digress. So the cars don't quite get the mileage we thought they would. They're still better for the enviroment, right? Wrong!!!!!

In the short term, they are better for the enviroment. In the long term, they are the worst thing we could have short of a nuclear reactor in each car with spent rods. What is the hybrid heart? A massive toxic waste dump of a battery!!! Bottom line is, the stuff in those batteries is so dangerous that 1) some first responders have put into writing the fact they won't do anything at a hybrid accident because they don't have the proper hazmat gear!!!! Wow. 2) There is no way to dispose of these batteries yet, and recycling isn't economically viable, so the batteries will sit in some facility becoming a bigger and bigger toxic threat to wherever they are. Feel warm and fuzzy about helping the enviroment still?

Now for what really matters. Cost. You get a tax break if you buy a hybrid. But it's offset by a few years of operation. Philadelphia found it cost more to have a fleet of hybrids. Now for you and I, I don't think we have that worry. Yet what about when the battery dies? A quick call to the local Toyota dealer and Ford dealer confirmed what I had read last year in Motor Trend magazine. First, the battery isn't a warrantable item. Second, you're better off throwing away the car. A Ford Escape battery is about $7200.00!!!! How can you even think of putting that money into a car that's 6 or 7 years old? How can you hope to resell a car with that kind of money needed to keep it going? A true disposable car. That's great for the enviroment.

Ok, enough Ford bashing, what about Toyota? Well, here we go. Brock Yates of Car and Driver sums it up pretty well:
He says it's time to "talk a little reality." He reports that "a Prius owner would have to drive at least 66,500 miles annually for five straight years, or gasoline would have to soar to 10 bucks a gallon, to equal the cost of operating a cheaper, conventional Corolla," which costs $3,000 less.

Wow, so I pay more for a car that is more expensive to operate, and it doesn't really help the enviroment? Where do I sign up? I mean, at least Toyota batteries are only about $5300.00. Now I can sleep tonight. Oh, and one other thing, disposal fees are most likely to come from the EPA for the batteries, and we all know that the dealers will never bear that cost. Somewhere in the bowels of the EPA, bureaucrats are probably already scheming up an entire Superfund SWAT team to give hybrid owners a nasty shock for dumping dead batteries.

Toyota's research found that hybrid buyers want bigger "badges" to tell the world, "Look at me, I am a virtuous environmentalist." Per the Toyota website.


LostInTX said...

Well I'm glad I didn't waste my money. I never realized how environmentally damaging the batteries are but more importantly, the reprocussions of being involved in an accident in a hybrid. I don't blame first responders for not wanting to get involved if they haven't been properly trained or have the proper attire. I know some people would say, "well that's their job." No, it's not. It's their job to do what they can to save you but not to expose themselves to known amounts of danger. I would have never stepped in front of a bullet blindly... and you have to have the preparation, training, and equiptment to enter a dangerous situation.

Now I can stick my tongue out at all the hybrid drivers that think they are better than me! At least I don't have an SUV!!

David Amulet said...

An almost perfect rant -- you take on the popular choice and crush it with logic and reason.

I want to join your hybrid-hating club. I will spit down hybrid drivers from my 19 mpg SUV as I pass by them feeling good about MY battery!

-- david

Mike said...

I spit at them as they drive by while I'm on my bike. Literally. I laugh at the lack of acceleration when I out drag them from a traffic light, but that's not their point of owning one. It's to be seen (or scene, lol) and slow acceleration will surely guarantee that...

Lora said...

This response may really suprise you from me who was an environmental nazi at the time that we hung around togeter: I thoughly detest that you are right, but my logical, well informed, car-crazy husband has already hammered these facts into me. However, I still like the IDEA of the hybrid and hope that with some continued R&D it will become a better choice environmentally.